March/April 2016 Issue – Cover Stories

March/April 2016 Issue – Cover Stories

Bookend rifles and bookend bulls

Dr Ken Nelson and his son Blake went buffalo hunting in Tanzania with legendary PH Johan Calitz, each using a Dakota 76 African in .416 Rigby.

 

Reckless courage

Geoff Wainwright and a client shared some tense moments in Tanzania’s Moyowosi hunting block when confronted by stampeding buffalo and an irate lioness with cubs.

 

Big-game hunters of yesteryear

Old-time big-game hunter James Sutherland had some unusual encounters with elephants and snakes while on expedition in Africa.

 

Nature’s Newspaper – Put yourself to the test

One of the best ways to improve one’s skills in various fields is to have yourself tested in that particular field. Tracking is no different.

 

Neck splits and dented shoulders

Chris Bekker takes an in-depth look at the phenomenon of split case necks and provides useful information for the reloader.

 

Mumembe MacNab

Pieter Reichert took his son Andreas on a MacNab hunt on Mumembe Ranch in Zambia where the latter bagged a spurfowl, hartebeest and a fish.

 

Leopard hunting in Matopos National Park

During his 24 years as a game ranger in the former Rhodesian Department of National Parks, Ron Thomson had some close encounters with leopard.

 

Magnificence from Leica

Johan van Wyk tested the Leica Magnus 1-6,3×24 riflescope. Representing some of the best quality in terms of hunting optics, it passed with flying colours.


 

From the Editor

The heavy price of ignorance

 

As I sit down to write this column in my hotel room in the small town of Logan some 80 miles outside Salt Lake City, with the temperature averaging a very “un-African” -11° outside, I wonder how many African outfitters/hunters are in the US at this very moment. I’m sure they are here in their thousands, considering that they are often accompanied by their families. We are all here to market hunting in Africa – yes, hunting animals in Africa, not exterminating them.

 

The reality of legal hunting is that it ensures the survival of these species, and who knows this better than we Africans? The irony, however, is that animal rights groups, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), and others consider themselves educated and informed enough to tell Africa how to manage its wildlife. This year we saw many hunting shows being interrupted by protesters, USFW’s decisions on the importation of lions from Africa, etc. With a simple signature, people who haven’t the foggiest about Africa’s wildlife decide over the fate of many of our wildlife species. We spend thousands of US dollars to come to the US and Canada to ensure the survival of our species in Africa, while these groups sit in their offices in their home country with little or no expense incurred from their side, signing away species after species.

 

As if this is not enough, we have totally incompetent and corrupt government departments in some African countries; a sad state of affairs that adds to the demise of our wildlife. Take South Africa for example. The Department of Environmental Affairs has decided not to allow any CITES leopard tags for 2016. CITES has allocated 150 tags for export of leopard trophies but this government department decided to block it because of the incompetence of some of the country’s provinces.

 

Allow me to put the issue of leopard hunting in perspective. Leopards are very effective hunters when it comes to livestock; for them it remains an easy meal. However, where legal hunting of leopards is allowed, the farm owner is much more forgiving towards leopards on his farm as he knows that the sale of a single leopard to a foreign hunter will help recover some of his livestock losses. In other words, one leopard that is hunted allows many others to survive. However, as soon as we remove the monetary contribution (i.e. leopard hunting) towards livestock losses, the same farmer will start looking at ways to limit his losses – something that is totally understandable. Unfortunately, this often leads to poisoning, shooting, trapping, etc. The reality is that while a single leopard was sacrificed to save four others, for example, every single one of them will now be killed as this is the only way the farmer can control the damage.

 

The above is just one example of how these so-called “conservationists” sit in their offices and seal the fate of our wildlife with the stroke of a pen. And they believe they are actually saving these animals from extinction!

 

I wish all African outfitters a very successful marketing tour abroad and many successful hunts in the African bush this year.

 

Neels Geldenhuys

Chief Editor

 

(You are welcome to join the African Outfitter group on facebook!)

 

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